“SKINNY”

This year, I made it a goal to look and feel healthy. I’ve started this journey of eating better (more protein, less carbs, more vegetables, less soda intake… just all the good stuff) because as the saying goes, “70% of abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym”. But lets be honest, eating clean can be really difficult, especially if you’re a dormer, living off of a budgeted allowance.

I have to say though, the idea of “losing weight” is not really my concern right now because I know I am below the ideal weight for my frame and height. But right now, I don’t intend on gaining extra “fat” but rather muscle mass instead. My gym goals have been getting more toned, doing more muscle work and building strength.

I’ve been going to the gym more than I ever have my whole life. I’ve been a part of varsity teams from my freshman up until my senior year in high school  and I never really thought of going to the gym until I reached college.

For the past 3 months, I’ve been more serious about doing something physically active at least once a day from either going to the gym, running around campus or the oval, to  doing a few indoor workouts when I don’t really have the time. Other than that, I’ve also minimised my rice intake to the point where I usually don’t look for it anymore. But i do still eat a lot and you can include junk to that (pizza, ice cream, soda, mcdonalds).

Now, if you’ve met me earlier on this year, I never really had a lot of weight to lose to begin with. So losing 10 pounds is already quite significant.

With this amount of weight loss, I want to definitely gain more weight in terms of muscle mass. But I must admit, it has been difficult given the fact that it mostly depends on what you intake rather than what you do in the gym.

I want to tell everyone though that I am trying to eat more, but I don’t want to eat just to fill in those extra pounds. I want to gain the right kind of pounds if that even makes sense. I just don’t want to be judged for not eating as much when I’m out for example because I do eat, I just want to eat the right things.

I probably just have a fast metabolism as well and a relatively smaller appetite. I’m not taking drugs or any herbal teas that help me lose more weight. I’m not starving myself, heck I don’t even wait for my stomach to grumble sometimes before I eat my next snack or my next meal. I’m just naturally thin RIGHT NOW.

With that ramblings, I also just want to say that it is tiring and it is a little bit insulting to be called “skinny” every time. It’s as bad as calling someone fat. I’m 20 years old and this is my body. I don’t exercise and try to be thinner for anyone but myself. All I want to say is, right now I feel happier and better trying to be more conscious with physical activities and how I eat.

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I won’t deny the fact that I have had several hair cut mishaps to “ombrè” attempts that dried out the ends of my hair so badly to extremely “brown” shades that faded into blonde-ish orange shades to short and super dark hair, red hair, hazelnut hair, highlights, etc etc (the list goes on). My hair journey has been quite an adventure.

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Thankfully, I was blessed with a lot of THICK, heavy hair so despite all the things its been through, it isn’t as damaged and it’s still pretty manageable.

Anyway, about a month or two ago, I decided to make a bold move: Dye my hair at home. I’ve never done it before because I’ve always been scared of uneven coloring. I also thought the process was too long and I dont know, but if you ask me, I’d rather have my hair colored by a professional rather than go through the hassle.

Thankfully, I found out about this shampoo hair coloring product by Etude House from a good friend of mine about a year ago. I’ve always been curious about it but I’ve never really had the balls to try it out until that one time I was strolling around the mall, randomly entered Etude house and impulsively just bought their “Hot Style Bubble Hair Coloring” in the shade “Natural Brown”. It cost about 500 Pesos (cheaper than hair coloring at the salon)

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They come in other colors as well, but I wasn’t daring enough to go for “wine red” or straight up “deep black”. I decided to go with something more natural (NATURAL brown), which to me looked extremely light on the box, but I figured it won’t turn out that light because what was then my current hair shade was a dark brown.

It comes in a box with 4 different things inside:

1. The color: It came in the biggest sachet in the box. It has that chemical smell most hair coloring products do and surprisingly has this very faint color (which actually made me doubt the effectiveness of this product at first)

2. Pumping bottle: It makes the “color” get all foamy. At this point, you’d really doubt the effectiveness of the product because you’ll barely see the color.

3. Conditioner: It smelled lovely (I think it had a lavender scent?) but it definitely eliminated that chemical stench and dryness your hair would get after washing off the foam.

4. Others: Gloves and an apron (I can’t think of the word for it right now but its basically the same plastic covering hair dressers would put around your shoulders before getting your hair treated)

TIP: If in case you try this, I recommend you plan how you’re going section your hair because you want to apply it as evenly as possible.

I had to give myself a pat on the shoulders because it turned out better than I expected. The hair strands closest to my forehead were lighter than the rest though which sucked for a while but after some time, it started to blend in with the rest of my hair. The color pay off was pretty accurate to the natural brown color it was aiming for which I didn’t really want but after two weeks, it faded into exactly the shade I was looking for.

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All in all, I’d recommend it 🙂 It’s easy and affordable !

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An Open Letter

I grew up looking up to you, both literally and figuratively because you were always this 6 ft- tall, broad shouldered man. You are the foundation of this family everyone would want to sit down and have coffee with at 8PM in the evening, right before dinner.

I envy the respect people have for you. You are bold. You are strong and intuitive.  You are responsible and witty. You are scary and stern but who you are as a husband, father, friend and grandpa makes up for it. All these traits of yours I admire so much, even as a woman.

You are witty and corny most of the time really, but you give the warmest smile in the world. You have your own discrete and subtle way of showing your affection for anyone, and it is very much noticed.  I am just happy to have you as my grandfather.

You are currently the strongest person I know right now and I hope to gain all the strength you show everyone one day.

Continue staying strong Angkong.

Love you x

Construction

When you find yourself overlooking a construction site, you think: unfinished or  incomplete. But construction is a process. It’s that liminal state. The state between nothing and something. The state between zero and one. The state between non-exitent and existing.

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There’s a part of me that thinks that this is actually not  a good thing. I see many my age either doing great things already or knowing what they are meant to do in this world, but I guess I’m still under construction, which to me means, I haven’t determined where I want to be in life and what I want to do in life. I have a list and I fail to narrow it down to just one thing. I am at a state of liminality. A state where I am currently in the process of self discovery. A state where I am building an identity and a mark in this world (hopefully, I am crossing my fingers). I am not nothing but I have still yet to be something.

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Haltered

Lately I’ve been into haltered top styles. They tend to expose the back as much as possible and typically cover majority of the front area. The upside down “V” shape these haltered tops have from the neck down to the armpits create an illusion of narrower shoulders, which I look for because I have very broad and scrawny shoulders.

This is a “spring outfit” I came up with and falls towards a more semi-formal attire. The floral skirt gives off the “spring”-ness to the outfit and I emphasized the black detailing on the skirt by pairing it with a black haltered semi-cropped top. Neutral colored accessories allow the skirt to stand out in this outfit. I think it’s nice to sometimes showcase your favorite pieces in your wardrobe by pairing it with black or white pieces and neutral colors.

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Here is an outfit I wore to my morning adventure to Intramuros, Manila. I wore a similar black haltered cropped top from Topshop with printed pants from Forever 21. I paired it with black sandals from the brand Rubi in Cotton On. The printed pants are as elaborately detailed as it can get, that’s why I chose to pair it with basic colors and wore no accessories 🙂

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It is summer vacation part 2 and it is not even summer anymore. Rain would fall almost every single day and the sun would shine only for a couple of hours before getting covered by those thick heavy clouds I’m so tired of seeing.

The 6 weeks of summer school had gone by so fast: 3 classes with a normal semester’s worth of information and knowledge stuffed into just a few weeks. It was pretty ambitious but hey, we all did it and made it. In fact, grades came out yesterday and I didn’t do so bad, I mean, I could’ve obviously done better but still: I DID NOT FAIL.

So the first week out of three weeks is just about to end and I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied. So far, I’ve gone out a couple of times with friends from high school, I’ve been to the gym several times, I ran, I “blogged”, cooked, visited my grandparents and watched a bunch of series and movies.

One might think, “Damn, Shai, you’ve got such a boring life”. But in all honesty, I enjoy this. I enjoy just ‘chilling’. I must admit, I do have those few moments  where I’d wish I was exploring or even chilling in another place, but when you’re rarely home, you appreciate just not doing anything.

At home, I am able to just relax and not stress about life as a whole. It is during these times all my creative juices are squeezed out of me and I am able to write, draw, bake, and cook!

This isn’t a healthy lifestyle to live EVERY SINGLE DAY because of course, everyone should get out there.  But for a person who’s rarely home just like me, this isn’t so bad at all

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Hongkong

Hong Kong has become a very familiar place to me. I’ve been there… I don’t even know how many times… COUNTLESS of TIMES, since the year 2006? Every time I go there, I grow more familiar to buildings and even how to use their train system… I know where to find good, reasonably priced food as well (which is awesome) and of course where to find cheap goods and more high-end goods as well

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One of my “CHAMBA” ( lucky ) shots while walking down Nathan Road or something. With a little enhancement and the perfect sunset setting, this picture looks pretty epic.

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This photo isn’t edited or anything but it’s pretty much the usual MRT situation: CROWDED. If you’re claustrophobic, this isn’t the means of transportation for you. Although at midnight, trains get pretty empty so you wouldn’t even be standing up anymore because most of the seats would be available.

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So this is a picture of my outfit of the day I went to Disney Land. I’ve been here probably more than 3 x already but it is a place anyone can always come back to. There are new rides now with a Toys Story theme. Fun, must-try rides. 🙂 (Btw, my leggings came for F21, the scarf from a Christmas Bazaar in Baguio and the sweater in Hong Kong because sweaters were every where during this time of the year)

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This is another outfit of the day photo. This was taken at a place called “TIME SQUARE”. The Time Square of Asia. What makes it called that is the giant clock on one of the buildings in this area.

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This time was actually the first time I went to this “must see spot” in Hong Kong. It’s this extremely large Buddha situated on top of a mountain. You have to ride a cable cart to get here.

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Every single time I go to Hong Kong, I have to get street food. Beside your hotel, you’d probably find a little street food stall or mini restaurant at some corner. What you get are those balls (I’m not exactly sure if they’re fish or squid) boiled and cooked in some broth. It doesn’t hurt trying the other stuff as well 😛 You add oyster sauce and chilli… plus buy cream soda in the nearest mini mart and BAM! Perfect midnight snack in Hong Kong. No joke. This is a MUST-TRY.

IMG_6680Seeing such an enlarge photo of it looks pretty disgusting. But trust me guys. It is delicious.

Hong Kong is definitely one of the more mainstream places in Asia people go to but it has to be one of my favorites. There’s just so much life in one city and I am all up for a busy metropolitan setting.